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Even though I learnt this concept from the Naruto series, it really makes sense:

  • When you blow (wind), fire will increase... so fire > wind
  • When you throw water on fire, it diminishes... so water > fire
  • When you smash water against it, it will have no effect on solid (earth)... so earth > water
  • And so on...

Following this logic, why can't waterbenders beat firebenders in Avatar (The Last Airbender)?

I also noticed that Aang himself, who is an airbender, could defend against firebending with his airbending skills. (note that I am referring to those earlier episodes when he was just an airbender (season: 1, episode: 1-5))

How does it work in Avatar? Which elements dominate over each other?

Additional Info:
few assumptions work in (Naruto) ninja world, that I didn't consider to include in the question because the question is actually focused on AVATAR not NARUTO

  1. Element user's chakra flow matters in chakra domination. Example: Naruto vs Third Raikage
  2. Combination of chakra elements. example: Water+Wind > Fire
  • 6
    ... Somebody who thinks that water smashing against earth has no effect seems to have ignored certain lessons in Geology (namely, erosion). With respect to fire <-> water, remember that Avatar uses a (mostly) traditional western opposed-elements set, where water is usually depicted opposite fire. In general, though, elemental dominance in Avatar seems to be 'context' based, given the local environment. Commented Mar 21, 2013 at 19:49
  • @Clockwork-Muse, yah a water style ninja .. should keep pouring water for days/years and wait till earth-style user's mud/rock wall get eroded (days for mud/years for rock) and once he gets opening should attack! Perfect plan! Commented Mar 22, 2013 at 17:41
  • Is Avatar considered as an anime?
    – xjshiya
    Commented Mar 25, 2013 at 5:17

2 Answers 2


It works a bit differently in Avatar.

Firebenders draw they power from great sources of fire. The sun is usually the strongest one around (with the exception of Sozin's comet, when it arrives every 100 years). Water benders draw their power from the moon.

Therefore, at night, the water bender will usually win, while at day the fire bender will usually win. Since the fire benders were on the offense, they get to decide when to attack (during daylight).

Also, there seem to have been a lot more fire benders than there were water benders (also, the water benders were separated into two very faraway clans).

Last but not least, in Avatar, the relationship between the elements doesn't seem to be that of dominance over one another, but rather, Earth and Air are opposites, while Fire and Water are opposites. It's not that one is stronger than the other, but rather two sides of the same coin.

  • perfect! I just finished 5 episodes of season 1.. So I wasn't aware of Sun/Moon concepts. Thanks Madara. Commented Mar 22, 2013 at 17:40

There's no obvious elemental dominance in the show. I depends more on the bender's ability than what they bend. There are a few things that could change their ability, such as the presence of the sun and moon for firebenders and waterbenders respectively.


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